UK Green Investment Bank invests in distillery

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UK Green Investment Bank invests in distillery

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced several days ago a further investment in the Scottish drinks industry.

The project at Balmenach distillery in Speyside will be financed from the £5 million of funding announced by GIB last month. The distillery will also be making a capital contribution to put in place the new infrastructure needed to support the project. Two distilleries, Tomatin Distillery (near Inverness) and Aberfeldy Distillery (in Perthshire) have already benefited from the new finance available from GIB. Tomatin Distillery has now reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by around 80% and significantly cut its fuel costs.

The project at Balmenach, like Tomatin and Aberfeldy, will replace the distillery’s heavy fuel oil boiler with a biomass boiler. As the distillery is in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands, and therefore not on the National Grid, heavy fuel oil has been used to meet its energy needs.

The new boiler will reduce the distillery’s energy costs and their greenhouse gas emissions, providing cost-effective renewable energy with limited up-front capital investment. The boiler will be used to produce steam necessary for the whisky production processes.

The distillery traces its origins back to 1824, making it one of the oldest distilleries in Speyside. The distillery was closed in 1993, but was bought in 1998 by Inver House Distillers Group, which is owned by ThaiBev, a leading Asian drinks business. The premium gin brand, Caorunn, is also produced at Balmenach.

Rob Cormie, Group Operations Director, UK Green Investment Bank, said:

I am very pleased that we have been able to make another investment at a Scottish distillery, just a few weeks after we announced that we were making £5m available to fund these investments.Projects like this provide a sustainable supply of renewable energy and save distilleries money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. With limited capital investment, distilleries can save money from day one whilst also helping to meet the industry’s ambitious green targets

Highland MP Danny Alexander said:

I am hugely proud of the benefits the Highlands has seen from the Green Investment Bank so far. This latest investment will give a welcome boost to our most important export industry. With continued investment in Highland distillers we can ensure that while the quality of the product remains high, the carbon footprint of production is low. I look forward to seeing the GIB take on even more investments in the Highlands over the coming months and years.

Geoff Jackson, CEO, Equitix, commented:

By funding the costs of biomass boilers into whisky distilleries, Equitix is helping the sector achieve considerable carbon savings as well as reducing the costs of the distillery's energy bills.

The UK Government has set high targets for the reduction of carbon emissions and Equitix is able to contribute to businesses' efforts to reduce their carbon outputs. We work in conjunction with our partners to develop strategies aligned with our clients' interests and will continue to effect these within the distillery sector.

Ernest Kidney, Managing Director, Balcas commented:

We all have a responsibility to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and Balmenach Distillery is taking a proactive step that will help them cut their fuel overheads as well as ensure security of supply. We look forward to working with Balmenach Distillery to install our integrated energy solution and help them reduce their impact on the environment.

Balmenach is the third distillery to opt for our renewable biomass steam boiler and we are pleased to say that there has been significant interest from other distilleries, as well as industrial and commercial organisations, who want to cut their carbon emissions by up to 90% and make immediate cost savings

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